Post-Call and Sweet Potato Fries

Medicine makes you tired. Sometimes, too tired.

Back in the day before work hour restrictions (or, in other words, two years ago), all medical students and residents did “call” shifts. To make a long story short, you’d show up for work at 6:30am, stay that entire day and overnight admitting patients, and then complete “post-call rounds” before finally going home. Theoretically, you were limited to being at the hospital for 30 hours. Nowadays, first-year residents are limited to 16 hour shifts and second year residents to 24 hour shifts, so this call system has been replaced by a day shift/night shift system in most places.

However, that isn’t the point of this story. In this case, I was on my pediatrics rotation, had an extremely brutal night with many very sick patients, and at this point had been awake for approximately 32 hours.

I needed to sleep. But first, I needed to eat something (since you don’t eat OR sleep very much on busy nights).

And the only thing I wanted was fries from a place with golden arches. Now, i don’t eat that much fast food, but I was entirely too tired to cook, and I knew that the only thing I had in my fridge that could be readily eaten was yogurt, and that just wasn’t going to cut it.

So I hopped in my car in pursuit of french fries. I ordered at the screen and then had a conversation with the women working the cash register at the first window over the unique design on my credit card.

It wasn’t until I was pulling into the driveway of my apartment complex that I realized that I forgot to stop at the second window to actually pick up my fries.

I then went straight to bed. I obviously was not safe for the road.

I also avoided that fast food restaurant for a while in case they remembered me based on my credit card.

Cook in Your Sleep Sweet Potato Fries

I could cook these while exhausted. However, it’s probably wiser to have someone else cook for you. Don’t want to burn the house down.

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato (serves 2-3 people)
  • Olive oil spray
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger

How-to

  1. Peel sweet potato and cut into fry-size pieces. Place into a large bowl and fill with cold water. Let soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain sweet potatoes and dry off with a paper towel.
  3. Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray that with olive oil. Place potatoes on pan and spread out in a flat layer. Spray with olive oil. Sprinkle potatoes with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and ginger. Toss to coat on all sides.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, shaking pan to toss once halfway through, until potatoes begin to brown.

I prefer mine with ketchup, but eat however you like.

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Night Terrors and Sweet Potatoes (and where I matched!)

January 16th was exactly 2 months out from Match Day.

What is Match Day, you ask? It’s only one of the most stressful days of any medical student’s life.

On Match Day, you find out where in the country a computer algorithm has placed you for your residency (aka where you do your training once you decide what kind of doctor you want to be). You are given one option, and one option only, and if you choose not to go there, you’re banned from most residencies for the rest of your life. Ohhhhhh, and to top it off, there aren’t enough spots for everyone to Match, which means you just paid for 4-8 years of med school and can’t get an actual job.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s not a fun process.

Anyway, on the morning of January 16th, I was woken up at 6am by my friend as he got ready to go to work by the following:

“Honey, are you okay?”

Naturally, I was confused, and not only because I had just woken up and I personally got to go back to sleep for another 2 hours.

“Well, you woke up around 2 am, threw yourself out of bed, screamed ‘Oh my god I’m not going to Match!!!!’ in this horrible voice, then jumped back into bed and pulled the covers up really tight. I tried waking you up to see if you were okay but I couldn’t.”

You thought only small children had night terrors? Oh no. We med students have them, too.

For those of you wondering, I did match. I’ll be doing my Anesthesiology residency in Chicago starting this July!

No More Nightmares Sweet Potatoes

I should have eaten these before I fell asleep

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 1/8 c fat free greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

How-to

  1. Peel sweet potato and dice into chunks. Place into a medium saucepan, cover with water, and add some salt.
  2. Boil for approximately 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of your chunks) or until the sweet potato is easily pierced by a fork (and you want this to slide right in- otherwise it makes the next steps harder).
  3. Drain and add butter. Using a heavy duty whisk, mash the potatoes, being sure to whip some air into them as you do so (just stir them fast every so often with the whisk).
  4. Add in greek yogurt, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar. Salt and pepper to taste. And whip some more air in with that whisk.